On our La Jolla tour, there is an abundance of eateries, restaurant, cafes and taverns where you can drop in for a meal or a quick drink and an appetizer. As the summer approaches and the days get longer, the happy hour options along the path of our La Jolla: The Riviera of California tour will add an exciting and romantic experience that can also save a little cash. So, we thought we would compile a short list of recommendations for the late afternoon and early evening happy hour to take a break and imbibe on a discounted adult beverage that many La Jolla merchants offer to local tourists on our 1 hour walking tour. These happy hours generally last for up to four hours and range from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM although a couple do push that upper limit to 6:30 or 7:00 PM. We start our La Jolla Happy Hour Bar Crawl at the beginning of our tour on Prospect Street near Coast Blvd and we’ll head south to the Scripps Gill Cultural Zone and make the turn towards the coast at the Contemporary Art Museum of San Diego then head north towards La Jolla Cove. So, let’s get going and see what the tour has to offer.
Noteworthy fact: When you walk through the front door and take a left and lookout through the windows you will see a fantastic ocean view and if you then look to your left you will see a fireplace (see below) that has historical significance.
Time: Daily from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the bar
Specials: Half-shell oyster specials and other “teasers” |$8 cocktails and wines by the glass.
Reasons to Go: As you approach Eddie V’s from Prospect St you will see a sign in the grass that says, “Green Dragon Colony”. In the late 19th century, architect Irving Gill was commissioned to design and build a small community on this cliff-side lot overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Gill completed the project in 1906 and the result was eleven small cottages called the Green Dragon Colony that was dedicated to the arts. The Colony was renowned for producing some of the finest artwork in the region and an old stone fireplace from one of the original cabins still survives inside the restaurant. Here below is a recent photo of the fireplace today and photo from the original construction.
Address: 1270 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Level 2 at George’s at the Cove
Noteworthy fact: Located on the middle level of George’s at the Cove, George’s Level 2 has balcony and indoor seating with the same casual menu as the Ocean Terrace and panoramic ocean views of La Jolla Cove.
Time: Monday – Friday from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Specials: $5 Select Beer | $7 House Red or White Wine by the Glass | $9 Specialty Cocktails
Reasons to Go: Famous views and a great location in downtown La Jolla with renowned chef Trey Foshee preparing new American cuisine. Includes an outdoor roof terrace restaurant with an upbeat vibe.
Address: 1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Noteworthy fact: Named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku of Honolulu, Hawaii, who at the age of 21, won his first Olympic gold medal, then went on to represent the United States in the Olympics for 20 years. He is remembered as a swimmer for his remarkable speed, for his grace in the water, his good humor, and his sportsmanship.
Time: “Aloha Hour” is Monday: 3pm-close and Tuesday-Friday: 3-6pm in the upstairs Barefoot Bar
Specials: $2 off all pupus (appetizers) | $4 off all local favorites | $7 barrel to glass wine | $14 carafes | $5 select tap beers
Reasons to Go: Great ocean views and a Hawaiian inspiration for their seafood. The Korean Sticky Ribs and the Poke Tacos are popular and indoor seating is available on cold, rainy days.
Address: 1216 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Noteworthy fact: This is a prime stop for wine lovers, and it has an ocean view! You can try wines by the taste, glass, or bottle. If you’d rather try several different wines, they offer the “wine flight” to give your taste buds some variety.
Time: Monday-Friday from 3:30pm-6:30pm
Specials: $3 off wines by the glass and $2 off draft beers. Happy Hour is offered weekdays and complimentary tastings of all of its California Extra Virgin Olive Oils, vinegars, and gourmet foods are offered every day. They also offer 1/2 off glasses of wine ALL DAY Wednesday and $3 off glasses/$7 off bottles of rosé wine ALL DAY Thursday. The staff will bring out olive oil and balsamic pairings to try at the same time, too. If you prefer beer, they offer several craft varieties. $4 Bowl of Olives | $6 Fromage Flatbread | $8 Hummus Plate | $14 Cheese Plate | $16 Cheese & Charcuterie
Reasons to Go: We Olive also offers perfectly paired appetizers, such as their Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Plate and We Olive Duo Dip. The store features an ocean-view Wine Bar, showcasing small-production California wines, local craft beer, and a menu of olive oil inspired small plates.
Address: 1158 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA. 92037
Noteworthy fact: Built in 1926, the La Valencia Hotel’s early success was largely due to the owners Hollywood connections including Gregory Peck and Ginger Rogers. Before remodelling in 2013, the restaurant was known as The Whaling Bar where many notable writers patronized back in the decades prior to closing. Famous authors like Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal and Raymond Chandler were regulars. Chandler lived in La Jolla and his drink of choice was a gimlet.
Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM every day of the week.
Specials: $5 Draft Beers, House Wines | $10 Aviation or Boulevardier Cocktail | $6 Oysters (6) |L’Orange Wings (6)| Fondue Sliders |Duck Fries
Reasons To Go: Different daily specials each day of the week. The Café is located inside the La Valencia Hotel which has ocean views from the La Sala Room in the lobby and live musical entertainment frequently during happy hour. The restaurant has a French village theme, modern Mediterranean cuisine, indoor seating and outdoor patio seating.
Address: 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Noteworthy fact: This Mexican Food restaurant’s roots trace back to 1929 when it was called the La Plaza Restaurant and El Toro Bar. It was located at the San Carlos Station of the San Diego Electric Railway which today is the location of the La Jolla United Methodist Church. Legend has it that the first Margarita cocktail ever made was introduced at that restaurant by the bartender Albert Hernandez Sr. in 1947.
Time: Monday – Friday from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Specials: $3 beers | $4 margaritas, wines by the glass, and well cocktails | $5 appetizer specials
Reasons to Go: Historic, casual and festive sports bar featuring Mexican food. Being the birthplace of the Margarita cocktail, Jose’s offers over 30 of the world’s finest tequilas.
Address: 1037 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037
Noteworthy fact: The original restaurant was in Evanston, Illinois and moved to La Jolla in 1978, bringing along with it the famous Chicago style pizza, burgers, and family-friendly dishes.
Time: 03:00 PM – 06:00 PM except holidays
Specials: $3-off Appetizers |$5 Wells, Drafts, and House Wines
Reasons to Go: Casual pub centrally located on Prospect with good lamb burgers and Chicago style deep dish pizza.
Address: 1005 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Noteworthy fact: Nine-Ten is located in the Grande Colonial hotel, La Jolla’s oldest original hotel that was opened on February 1st, 1913. The La Jolla Drugstore was next door and was soon woven into its history by moving inside the Colonial’s main building. The drugstore became a prime location for locals to gather, talk and watch the passersby. Well loved by the townspeople, a pharmacist in the drugstore was the father of Gregory Peck. Peck, who grew up in La Jolla, eventually left for Hollywood and became an Oscar winning movie star.
Time: Monday – Friday from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the bar and lounge
Specials: Bar food menu 25% off | $5 select glasses of wine | $2 off beers.
Reasons to Go: The Nine-Ten restaurant will tempt you with fresh, seasonal cuisine which is reflected in its recognition by ZAGAT with an extraordinary to perfection rating and numerous awards for everything from food to service and wines including the prestigious Michelin Distinct Plate. Patrons can enjoy the best of the harvest from local artisan farmers, where produce is selected daily for the restaurant’s evolving California Cuisine.
Address: 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Noteworthy fact: Brockton Villa is the only bar crawl stop on Coast Blvd and is across the street from La Jolla Cove. At the turn of the twentieth century, La Jolla was described as a small area “of enchanting seaside topography as barren as a bone.” And the last remnants of this time are the Brockton Villa that served as La Jolla’s very first beach cottage. It was built in 1894 and around 1900, the house was purchased by two sisters who are said to be La Jolla’s first real estate agents. They rented out many beach cottages here and this one they named after their hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts.
Time: Social Hour is from 3-4 p.m. daily.
Specials: Menu items include Mediterranean Chopped Salad $13, Arrogant Mussels and Clams $16, Artisan Cheese Board $15, Fire Grilled Artichoke $10.50, ½ Pound Angus Beef Burgers $12.50, Grecian Pita Dippers $11, Grilled Fish Tacos $13, Shrimp Butter Leaf Wraps $16.50, Soup Of The Day Cup $4 or Bowl $8, Organic Baby Kale and Golden Fig $9, Daily Oysters on a Half Shell $15 and Brockton Villa’s “Epic Chowder” Cup $4 or Bowl $8.
Reasons to Go: When inside, have a look at the unique fireplace that is made up of oversized abalone shells that are inlaid in cement. Once plentiful in the local seas, abalone is protected now due to it being overfished.
Address: 1235 Coast Blvd. La Jolla, CA 92037
The Cave Store marks the end of our La Jolla: The Riviera of California tour but you may want to complete the tour with a visit to the final happy hour bar crawl location at Crab Catcher less than 100 feet from where we started the tour at Eddie V’s.
Noteworthy fact: Set high on the same cliff as the Green Dragon Colony overlooking La Jolla Cove, Crab Catcher offers an exhilarating dining experience. Their specialty is fresh seafood and the exceptional flavors of California and the Pacific Rim is their inspiration. On Friday and Saturday nights you can also enjoy live music in the Ocean Tapas Bar.
Time: 3 to 7 p.m. daily.
Specials: Daily specials vary. $3 Pacific Oyster Shooter | $5 Baja Fish Taco | $6 Crab Cake Slider | $10 Crispy Sprouts | $12 BLT Wedge or Caesar Salad | $14 Cove Nachos Grande, Shrimp Cocktail, Flatbread, Calamari | $15 Crab Wontons | $16 Mexican Beef Flautas | $18 King Crab Ceviche Tacos (3)
Reasons to Go: Winner of the La Jolla Village News award for best happy hour and a great ocean view.
Address: 1298 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037